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August 28, 2009 at 8:00 AM

That’s one scary Slim Jim — the kiddie “bar snack” of choice

It’s been a long time since I’m eaten a Slim Jim, which is probably a good thing. Read this Wired story explaining “What’s Inside a Slim Jim” (thanks for turning me on to it, Angela Garbes) and you’ll see why.

Here’s a little bite:

“It’s real meat, all right. But it ain’t Kobe. The US Department of Agriculture categorizes beef into eight grades of quality. The bottom three–utility, cutter, and canner–are typically used in processed foods and come from older steers with partially ossified vertebrae, tougher tissue, and generally less reason to live. ConAgra wasn’t exactly forthcoming on what’s inside Slim Jim.”

When I was a kid, and kids were allowed into bars with their parents, I’d pull up a stool in the cool of “Uncle” Les Brown’s taproom, where my kiddie-cocktail-of-choice was an icy Coke with a bright red cherry (or three), knocked back with a couple spicy beef batons. Who knew I was eating “partially ossified vertebrae” and pressed chicken parts — or that they could have tasted so indescribably delicious?

So, am I the only one old enough to recall the joy of bellying up to the bar back when minors could do such things? Or do you, too, recall eating (what?) and drinking (what?) with the grownups while they bent an elbow at the neighborhood watering hole?

Comments | More in | Topics: Reading about eating

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